Now these two photographs are baffling to me. Taken in Rotterdam by a P.W. Roemer, who worked somewhere around the 1880’s or so, which certainly fits with the clothing style.
They were mixed in with the McKay photographs I have, but of course were no details were noted on the back of the prints (apparently everyone in my ancestry were as disorganized as I am), so I have no idea of who the mother or the kids are. Nice toy horse, though. The rider seems to be channeling George Armstrong Custer (or similar cavalry officer) given his stoic expression. The hand on the horse’s rein is a nice touch.
But how to explain Rotterdam? Apparently there were many Scots who made their home in Rotterdam, starting in the mid 1600’s, as they wanted part of the mercantile action that the city offered (among other legacies is the Dutch name McKaay). So it’s certainly possible that there was a connection with the Canadian branch of the family. These photos could have simply been sent from those Dutch relatives. That does establish a Dutch connection, however, which raises the question of just how this figures into the McKay history.
Mom and Dad (Janet and Roderick) McKay were born in Nova Scotia (1837/1846), but census records indicate their first children (boys) were born in the US in the 1870’s, being admitted to Canada in 1877. The McKay family traveled from Nova Scotia sometime after 1881 to Manitoba, staying there until at least 1906 , then moving to Vancouver sometime in the next few years.